|Roh Tae-moon, head of Samsung's mobile division, holds the newly released S20 Ultra during the '2020 Galaxy Unpacked' at San Francisco's Palace of Fine Arts, Tuesday. Courtesy of Samsung Electronics|
Samsung mobile chief stresses beauty of hadrware
By Kim Hyun-bin
SAN FRANCISCO ― The Samsung Electronics 2020 Galaxy Unpacked event drew the attention of tech lovers around the globe who wanted to catch a glimpse of the new foldable Galaxy Z Flip as well as the Galaxy S20 series of smartphones.
The event marked the inauguration of Samsung Mobile head Roh Tae-moon, who showcased his vision for growth and innovation in the fiercely competitive mobile market.
Despite being his first public event, Roh showed confidence and a strong front to lead the mobile industry, which he expressed in his opening speech at Unpacked as well as in the press conference with Korean reporters held on the sidelines of the event.
"The product line introduced at Unpacked will become the game changer in the market and a blueprint for growth for the next decade," he said.
Roh hopes to nurture the mobile market together with partners and rivals creating growth along the way.
"There has always been competition in the mobile industry, and that is not something that we need to be afraid of or ignore," Roh said. "Our motto for this year is to lead the growth of the mobile industry together with innovation and by overcoming our limits."
Even with the strong determination for growth, the executive needs to overcome difficulties in the already saturated mobile market competing against Apple as well as other budget Chinese mobile manufacturers.
Last year, global smartphone sales reached 1.41 billion units, down 1 percent from a year earlier, according to data from Strategy Analytics. The mobile industry suffered from the U.S.-China trade war and the outbreak of the novel coronavirus has emerged as a new threat in recent months due to several of Samsung's factories being located in China.
Despite the challenges, Roh showed certainty Samsung could overcome any difficulties that lie ahead by differentiating their product line through innovation and brainstorming ways to enhance user experience.
"We have the DNA that can overcome risks successfully and challenge the impossible," Roh said. "As a leader of the smartphone industry, we will deliver new innovative user experiences that can fuel growth within the industry."
The company plans to increase global strategic partnerships with leading content providers such as Google and Netflix to better position its products against key rivals.
"We need to provide the best user experience at the right times so we are changing the company direction to better suit their needs," Roh said
Recent mobile trends focus on how well companies converge a combination of 5G technology, artificial intelligence (AI) and Internet of Things (loT) into mobile devices. As an engineer himself, Roh will continue to find innovative means to differentiate Samsung Mobile's products on the global market.
Many experts believe Roh has been realigning the firm's mobile strategy towards increasing the specs of the newly developed smartphones becoming less attentive to the budget phone market.
The Galaxy S20, S20 Plus and S20 Ultra phones share powerful hardware and have new features that signal the direction for future models― such as 5G connectivity and screens with a 120Hz refresh rate that drastically enhances gaming experience.
In addition, the Galaxy S20 devices can hold more expandable storage with up to 1.5 terabytes as well as shooting 8K video that can be uploaded instantly on YouTube.
Roh views the sensor business as an important area of future growth and the company has been pushing various high-resolution designs, where the Galaxy S20 Ultra sports 108-megapixel sensors are an attempt to further differentiate Samsung from rivals.
On Jan. 20 Roh was named the new mobile chief for Samsung Electronics, taking over from co-CEO Koh Dong-jin, who currently heads the mobile communications division.
Roh, 52, is said to be an engineering maven who is meticulous about phone features.
He joined Samsung in 1997 and has been a key player in the research and development of Galaxy devices. He's also been instrumental in cutting costs, through outsourcing handset production to better compete with Chinese competitors like Huawei.